Nobody plans for the worst, but the unfortunate truth is that accidents do happen. Automobile accidents are unfortunately as common as they are terrible, and they can be even more nerve-wracking when you’re driving a rental car.
Who is at fault in those cases? And what costs will you have to pay for a rental car? It’s important to understand your rights and liabilities if you are in a crash while driving a rental car in New Orleans.
Read below to learn from Kiefer & Kiefer car accident attorneys about what to do after a rental car accident.
Steps to take after a Louisiana car accident
The moments after a New Orleans car accident are crucial. It’s important that you take the right steps to ensure not only your health and wellness but also to ensure you are able to recover damages if someone else is liable for the accident.
1. Make sure everyone involved is okay
First and foremost, make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay. Check your surroundings, check with parties involved in the accident, and call emergency medical personnel as necessary.
On the scene, never admit to fault for the accident. Comments like “I wasn’t paying attention,” or even “I’m sorry,” have the potential to be used against you in court. It’s best to stick to asking if everyone is okay.
2. Exchange contact information with everyone involved
As the case after the collision continues, it will be important for you to be able to stay in contact with involved parties, as well as their insurance companies.
Make sure you collect and exchange the following information:
- Phone number
- Insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle registration
- License plate numbers
You should also collect contact information from any witnesses, as well.
3. Document information in notes and pictures
It’s important to document any important information with notes and pictures. Take photos of all the vehicles in the accident, whether they are damaged or not.
You should also make note of:
- Vehicle information including year, make, model, and color of each car
- The exact location of the collision, including street names and lanes
- How the accident happened
4. Contact the police
Law enforcement will aid the documentation process. They will file a report that you will be able to use in the legal process if needed.
5. Contact the rental car company
Be sure to contact your rental car about the accident. The company will tell you how to move forward, and it may even include an incident report specifically for the company. There may be other paperwork involved as well.
6. Contact your insurance company
You also need to contact your own insurance company about the accident. You may need them to cover the damages if you are found at fault for any damages. You will need to consult with your insurance company about what your policy covers, and if rental car collisions are covered. You may have taken out car accident insurance with the rental car company as well. In these accidents, we often find our client is double insured even if they do not realize it.
7. Find out who is responsible for the different damages after the accident
Finally, you need to find out what your claim covers, what the insurance company covers, and what the rental company covers. Different parties may cover the different damages, like collision damage, damage to others, extra days of the car rental, and more. That’s where our Kiefer & Kiefer car accident attorneys come in.
Who is liable for the accident?
Different parties may be found liable for different percentages of accidents.
For example, if multiple cars were involved, a single party might be responsible for 100% of the damages, or the fault may be found to lie between two different parties.
With your attorney, you will need to prove who was at fault for the accident to determine who may be responsible for paying for your damages, or damages to other cars involved in the accident.
If someone else is found liable for the accident, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Recovery costs
- Long-term disability costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact Kiefer & Kiefer car accident lawyers today
Whether or not you believe you were at fault for your accident, you need an experienced and reliable lawyer on your side. A car accident attorney like our team members at Kiefer & Kiefer can help you file your claim, recover damages from the at-fault party, and more.
Our New Orleans-based team will fight for your fair settlement, so you’re fully compensated for all of your losses. Contact us today for your initial consultation.